Video Credit: SpaceX
Mission Updates: http://spaceflight101.com/dragon-spx8…
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rumbled into the skies over Florida’s Space Coast on Friday, lifting the Dragon spacecraft into orbit for its return to the International Space Station for its first mission after a launch failure in 2015.
Falcon 9, successfully completing its primary mission of sending Dragon on its way, again attempted a landing of its first stage on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship in SpaceX’s ongoing endeavors to perfect a booster recovery at sea. Returning to the Atlantic from the edge space and over five times the speed of sound, the booster came in on target and touched down on the drone ship, remaining upright to put the exclamation point on another milestone achieved by SpaceX.
SpaceX has successfully launched a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket today, April 8th 2016 at 20:43 UTC carrying the CRS-8 Dragon spacecraft full of 6913 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station. This was the 23rd Falcon 9 launch, the third Full Thrust variation and the first Dragon spacecraft to launch since the launch failure of CRS-7 last year.
A major payload onboard the Dragon, in the external trunk, is the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which when attached to the space station will be inflated and act as a test bed for future potential inflatable modules.
The first stage of this launch successfully landed on the autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS) for the first time, it will now be secured to deck and taken back to port.